Edith Sitwell by Cecil Beaton. Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell DBE (7 Sept 1887–9 Dec 1964), British poet and critic, eldest of the three literary Sitwells (the other two were her brothers Osbert and Sacheverell). Sitwell published poetry continuously from 1913, some of it abstract and set to music. She wrote two books about Queen Elizabeth I of England: Fanfare for Elizabeth and The Queens and the Hive. She also wrote English Eccentrics and Victoria of England. All her prose works sold well.